Greater Sudbury city council will be asked to write off a bad debt from a now deceased tenant at Pioneer Manor, who passed away still owing the LTC home $75,733.
The resident, who passed away in late 2018, was first admitted in 2011 and for the first two years, paid fees on time. In Ontario, the fees are regulated by the province and range from about $1,700 a month to more than $2,000 for a private room.
But the payments became “sporadic” after that, and by February 2018, the amount owed grew to more than $75,000. The Public Guardian Trustee took over the resident's finances at that point, and the monthly bill was paid until the resident passed away.
The trustee is a provincial body that steps in when someone becomes mentally incapable of handling it themselves.
Before the trustee stepped in, Pioneer Manor dealt with the person who had the resident's power of attorney, who, the report said, promised to pay the overdue bills.
“Multiple requests for payment were sent to the resident’s power of attorney, including a final registered letter in January 2015,” the report says. “In July 2015, the POA indicated that she was expecting a $50,000 settlement, and that it would be used to settle the past due amounts. She also promised to redirect all of the resident’s finances to Pioneer Manor to avoid future missed payments.”
When that didn't happen, Greater Sudbury Police were asked to investigate the case as fraud, and the city's legal department got involved seeking a restitution order.
“Both of these efforts failed to yield positive results with regard to collecting the past due amounts,” the report said. “It is important to note that under legislation, LTC homes are unable to stop providing care or evict a resident when they cease making accommodation payments.”
Because the province subsidizes LTC homes, through the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, it will pay half of the debt, leaving the city out $37,500. However, Pioneer Manor's budget already includes an amount set aside for bad debts, and it has already been accounted for.